Hannah: “There is nothing wrong with you, and you can live a normal happy life”

Hannah at the beginning of our interviews I always ask the interviewee to introduce themselves, for those that are not yet aware of your involvement with DESTIGMATIZE, would you mind introducing yourself to our readers please? What is it that you do? Where are you based?

I’m a 21 year old graphic designer from Feltham, London. Recently graduated with a degree in product design and found my love for graphic design and 3d printing.

How long have you been working in graphic design?

I started graphic design at university where I would have to make the graphics for products I made, it was here I found I enjoyed that side more than the product design.

You graciously came forward last month after we launched DESTIGMATIZE and offered to help us out with our new merchandise, how have you found this particular job in comparison to the other creative work that you do?

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Junior and DESTIGMATIZE. Every design I sent Junior, he gave me so much credit for and gave me the motivation to do much more.

Did you realise what you were getting yourself in to when I was throwing at you terms such as ‘undetectable’ and ‘#UequalsU’?

At first no, but after reading through your website and educating myself on what you do made me want to help out even more. I think the term #u=u is great and will make people think what’s that mean and go ahead and Google it and then educate the self as I did.

The first design you did for us was the ‘We’re All Clean’ tee and the way you grasped what we were trying to say was absolute perfection! We sent you a briefing with what we wanted and nowhere in that briefing did we request that you make an illustration of an anti-HIV stigma soap bottle and you went above and beyond for this design with many praising your work because not only is this design slightly humorous and sarcastic, it’s sends such a strong message to those that still use the term ‘are you clean?’ How did you come to understand so well the message we were trying to put out here with this particular design?

When I was given the brief I read the the term and thought clean meaning soap cleaning products and thought how about a soap bottle with the term coming out of the bottle, this was my first idea for it and asked Junior his thoughts on it and we’ll he loved it. Sometimes these ideas just pop into my head and I can’t explain how they got there haha.

Before volunteering for us at DESTIGMATIZE, what was your overall perception of what HIV is today in 2016?

I hadn’t had much knowledge of HIV, I don’t know anyone with HIV so I couldn’t relate. But having a mental health condition I can relate to people throwing stigma at me.

Have your learnt anything new about HIV since starting to work for us?

Yes, I’ve learnt that people with HIV are the same as anyone else. There is nothing different about them and they are clean and can be hugged and live normal lives, and should be able to live there life without having people stigmatise them.

Have you ever volunteered to help out any other similar projects?

This is the first project I’ve volunteered for.

In every interview we always ask the interviewee what their general advice would be to somebody, perhaps a family or friend who had recently contracted HIV. Would you give them any reassuring words of wisdom?

There is nothing wrong with you, and you can live a normal happy life. Just because you have HIV that doesn’t mean you can’t do the things that make you happy.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say before we wrap this up?

I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure working for the project and I’d love to help out more in the future.

If you would like to see the products Hannah has designed for us, please visit our new store here

For contact information and more on Hannah’s designs please visit her site here

Want to take part in our #STIGMAWARRIOR campaign? Have your say on HIV stigma and get in touch: stigmawarrior@destigmatizehiv.com